JCT gave Keynote Lecture at IZMM2016 in Dalian, China

JCT was a Keynote Speaker at the 7th International Zeolite Membrane Meeting (IZMM2016), held in Dalian, China, from 20-23 August 2016. The title and abstract of his talk are given below.

“MOF-Polymer Nanocomposite Membranes: Interrogating the Underscoring Microstructure-Mechanics-Function Relationships”

Abstract: Nanocomposite membranes incorporating Metal-Organic Framework (MOF) [1, 2] nanoparticles are currently attracting considerable attention by virtue of their wide range of potential applications, for addressing environmental, energy and sustainability challenges. Multifunctional MOF particles are utilized as a filler phase for integration into a variety of polymer matrices, creating what is termed the “mixed-matrix membranes” or “MMMs” [3]. The great majority of the current research, however, has focused on determination of the gas separations and gas capture performance of this emerging class of MMM materials. On the contrary, there is significantly less understanding about the underlying mechanical performance and thermal characteristics of these MOF-polymer membranes as well as their long-term resilience and durability, all of which are key to engineering practical applications encountered in all industrial settings. In this talk, our latest findings [4, 5] concerning the detailed thermo-mechanical properties and viscoelastic response of nanocomposite membranes will be discussed, comprising the topical ZIF‑8 nanoparticles that are uniformly dispersed in either, a glassy (e.g. Matrimid polyimide) or a rubbery (e.g. polyurethane) polymer matrix. Utilizing the dynamic mechanical analyzer (DMA) and quasi-static nanoindentation techniques, we have identified major distinctions between the mechanical deformation, toughness, and temperature-dependent viscous characteristics of the MMMs, as a function of the type of supporting matrix and MOF wt.% loadings. Aforementioned microstructural features and combined thermal-mechanical properties are controlled by the intimate molecular interactions established between the polymeric chains and the MOF nanoparticles, which can be modified to effect desirable functions, for instance to enable immobilization of iodine [6] or uptake of toxic species from solutions. The absorption mechanisms of the nanocomposite membranes will be discussed from the viewpoint of the different polymers with very different glass transition temperatures and viscoelastic properties.


[1] J.C. Tan, B. Civalleri, Metal–Organic Frameworks and Hybrid Materials: From Fundamentals to Applications, CrystEngComm, 17 (2015) 197-198.

[2] P. Silva, S.M. Vilela, J.P. Tome, F.A. Almeida Paz, Multifunctional metal-organic frameworks: from academia to industrial applications, Chem. Soc. Rev., 44 (2015) 6774-6803.

[3] B. Zornoza, C. Tellez, J. Coronas, J. Gascon, F. Kapteijn, Metal organic framework based mixed matrix membranes: An increasingly important field of research with a large application potential, Microporous Mesoporous Mat., 166 (2013) 67-78.

[4] E.M. Mahdi, J.C. Tan, Mixed-matrix membranes of zeolitic imidazolate framework (ZIF-8)/Matrimid nanocomposite: Thermo-mechanical stability and viscoelasticity underpinning membrane separation performance, J. Membr. Sci., 498 (2016) 276-290 [DOI] [pdf[Elsevier AudioSlides Presentation]

[5] E.M. Mahdi, J.C. Tan, Dynamic molecular interactions between polyurethane and ZIF-8 in a polymer-MOF nanocomposite: Microstructural, thermo-mechanical and viscoelastic effects, Polymer, 97, pp. 31-43 (2016) [DOI] [pdf[Elsevier AudioSlides presentation

[6] E.M. Mahdi, A.K. Chaudhuri, J.C. Tan, Capture and immobilisation of iodine utilising polymer-based ZIF-8 nanocomposite membranes, Mol. Syst. Des. Eng., 1, 122-131 (2016) [DOI] [pdf